US and Western officials are urging Ukraine to shift its focus from the brutal, months-long fight in the eastern city of Bakhmut and prioritize instead a potential offensive in the south, using a different style of fighting that takes advantage of the billions of dollars in new military hardware recently committed by Western allies, US and Ukrainian officials tell CNN.For nearly six months, Ukrainian forces have been going toe-to-toe with the Russians over roughly 36 miles of territory in Bakhmut, which lies between the separatist-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. Heavy shelling has left the city almost completely destroyed.“It is a brutal and grinding fight,” a senior Western intelligence official said last week, with each side exchanging anywhere from 100-400 meters of land per day and exchanging several thousands of artillery rounds almost daily. “[Bakhmut] is less attractive militarily, in terms of any sort of infrastructure, than it might have been if it had not been this destroyed.” Now, ahead of what is widely expected to be a brutal spring of fighting, there is a tactical opening, US and Western officials say. In recent weeks they have begun suggesting that Ukrainian forces cut their losses in Bakhmut, which they argue has little strategic significance for Ukraine, and focus instead on planning an offensive in the south.That was part of a message delivered by three top Biden officials who traveled to Kyiv last week.
Russian assault units continue to expand the bridgehead around Soledar and are close to surround the Ukrainian grouping in Bakhmut. In recent days, Wagner’s fighters who operate in this area have achieved new victories.
On January 23, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed Russian control of the village of Krasnopolye (Kranopolevka) in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Two days before, on January 21, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Main Council of the administration of the Zaporozhye region, also claimed Russian control of the village. Acting head of the republic Denis Pushilin also confirmed that the mop up operation in the village has been completed.
Pushilin added that “not everything is so easy” in the region, because the enemy “resists”. “It is absolutely fair to say here that this is not an easy walk for the guys [Russian servicemen]. Every house, every facility, every enemy firing point is being gnawed out there,” he said. According to him, “the heaviest” and “bloody” battles are taking place in the region.
Krasnopolye is located north of the Sol railway station, 5 km from Soledar and about 20 km from Artemovsk (Bakhmut). After its liberation, Russian forces continued their offensive north from Soledar along one of the highways to Seversk and are breaking through new Ukrainian defense lines near the village of Razdolovka. Not far to the east, Wagner’s fighters are advancing near Veseloe.
Control over all settlements on the northwestern outskirts of Soledar will allow the Russian military to establish a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Bakhmutka River.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council has reached a political agreement on another tranche of military aid to Ukraine worth EUR 500 million under the European Peace Facility.
The EU foreign ministers also approved EUR 45 million for the EU’s military training mission for Ukraine.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell said this at a press conference in Brussels on Monday following a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council….
TG 993: Two D.C. Foreign Policy Heavyweights Liken U.S. Intervention In Ukraine War To Intervention In World War II George Szamuely and Peter Lavelle discuss a recent "Washington Post" article, written by Robert M. Gates and Condoleezza Rice, that drops all pretense that war in Ukraine has anything to do with defense of Ukraine; turns out, it's a war of necessity for the United States.
The Guardian on Jan 15, 2023 published the most perfect piece of new normal nostalgia that ever was or could be: Coronavirus: ‘People aren’t taking this seriously’: experts say US Covid surge is big risk by Melody Schreiber.
This piece may be studied as a Platonic Form.
Nothing could more perfectly demonstrate the inability of the covid fear porn publishers to let go of the narrative.
If the author didn’t have her own website, I would have attributed the piece to an instance of ChatGPT trained on every Guardian and New York Times article from the past three years.
The writer employs every single discredited covid trope at least once.
I will list a few of the best, here. To cover them all I would have to quote the entire article and that would violate the Fair Use Doctrine.
Chalk up yet another legal victory for gun rights advocates: On Monday, the government of Tennessee officially admitted its attempt to outlaw the carry of guns by adults under 21 is unconstitutional, The Reload was first to report.
Lawyers for the state signed onto an "agreed order," which is a written agreement among parties to a lawsuit that becomes an order of the court upon the judge's approval. In part, Monday's agreed order reads:
“The Challenged Scheme regulating the possession and carrying of handguns that restricts individuals aged 18 years old to 20 years old from carrying handguns or obtaining permits to carry handguns on the basis of age alone violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
“Defendant and his officers, agents, employees, and all others acting under his direction and control, are permanently enjoined from implementing or enforcing the Challenged Scheme.”
The state now faces a 90-day deadline to begin processing enhanced carry permit applications submitted by Tennesseans under 21. The state will also have to shell out almost $47,250 to cover legal the plaintiffs' legal costs.
In 2021, Tennessee ended the requirement for most adults to have a permit to carry a handgun. However, it does issue what is not called an "enhanced handgun carry permit."
Days ago Facebook, which is now Meta, announced it is welcoming Ukraine's Azov Regiment to its platform. Azov had up until recently, and throughout the Russian invasion of Ukraine, been on Meta's of "dangerous organizations" list.
It was on this banned list because the militia's members regularly display Nazi symbols and signs on their uniforms and as part of the their media content. But now, pro-Azov content can be freely posted, and the group can create its own official accounts on Facebook and Instagram for the first time.
The Washington Post recently detailed that the change "will allow members of the Azov Regiment to create accounts on Facebook and Instagram and post content without fear of it being removed unless it breaks the company’s content rules." Additionally, "The move will also enable other users to explicitly praise and support the group’s work."
The company headed by Mark Zuckerberg still sought to emphasize that "Hate speech, hate symbols, calls for violence and any other content which violates our Community Standards are still banned, and we will remove this content if we find it."
Ukrainian officials have especially since the summer lobbied hard for Facebook/Meta's Oversight Board to loosen up its restrictions on Azov, saying it was 'unfair' and that it's keeping Ukrainian media organizations from sharing accurate information about the war in real-time.
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Jan. 20 to make some COVID-era protections for renters permanent, less than two weeks before they were set to expire.
“Today was a huge victory,” recently-elected Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky posted to Twitter after the vote.
“The Los Angeles City Council just unanimously adopted several common sense tenant protections that will protect thousands of Angelenos facing eviction, and help make our work around homelessness and reducing poverty that much easier.”
The council approved moratoriums for renters - including no-fault evictions and nonpayments - beginning at the height of the pandemic and were to expire Feb. 1.
The lockdowns of March 2020 shocked the American people and most public health agencies, not to mention infectious disease doctors.
The idea of school shutdowns, business closures, plus mandatory remote work and other restrictions have previously seemed inconceivable. It was especially remarkable to have such an “all-of-government” response to a virus that we already knew posed a threat mainly to the elderly and infirm.
Issues like public-health precedent, American legal tradition, and medical knowledge about dealing with respiratory viruses, not to mention natural immunity and collateral damage of lockdowns, were all thrown out the window.
Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s book The Real Anthony Fauci mentions a tabletop exercise called “Crimson Contagion” that ran from January through August, 2019. I had not previously heard of it and I found the mention remarkable, simply because it proves that not everyone was shocked by lockdowns.
They were not part of official planning documents of either the CDC or WHO but they were clearly in the plans of someone.
On the old comedy show “In Living Color” comic genius Jim Carrey did a routine that PERFECTLY depicts the Woke Culture that has since taken over large parts of the world.
30 years ago this was a joke.
Now people with this mentality are everywhere, especially in academia, government, and the mass news media.
The talented comedians always see it coming.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told The Times of Israel that the US should sell F-35 fighter jets to Arab countries that have normalized with Israel under the Abraham Accords in exchange for investments that could benefit the Palestinians.
The Trump administration promised 50 F-35s to the UAE as its reward for normalizing with Israel. The deal was held up due to concerns in Congress about Israel losing its military edge in the region if the UAE acquires the jets, which have never been sold to a US Arab ally.
The Biden administration ultimately said it supports the F-35 sale, which is part of a major $23 billion arms deal that includes Reaper drones and munitions, but the sale still hasn’t been finalized.
As reported earlier by Cristina Laila – According to emails uncovered from the “Laptop from Hell,” Hunter Biden sent his business partner Devon Archer a very detailed email on Ukraine on April 13, 2014 – just one week before Joe Biden visited Ukraine to meet with then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
It appears that Hunter Biden was emailing Devon Archer information he received from a briefing his father and Vice President Joe Biden held earlier. Or the information may have come directly from top-secret documents.